Best Genre-Defying Classical Performance

Julian Barnes, the Man Booker Prize-winning British novelist, engaged in a busy and thoughtful residency at Vanderbilt University in March. He read from and discussed his works as part of the university’s Chancellor’s Lecture Series. Later, he joined internationally renowned Canadian pianist and Bach expert Angela Hewitt for an innovative performance that highlighted the long love affair between literature and classical music. With his wonderful feel for the rhythm of language, Barnes read especially poignant poems and passages about music. Hewitt followed, performing the specific piano music that inspired the words. Such thorough explorations of human emotion are rarely encountered. JOHN PITCHER

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